This week, my high school friend Laura Kennedy and her family suffered an event all of us dread and hope to never experience; their Idyllwild home and all possessions burned to the ground. The fire started in the tube that vents their wood burning stove... they replaced all of this one year ago. Laura smelled smoke in the garage, then went outside and the chimney stack on top of their roof was already ablaze. She told the kids to run outside with the dogs, backed the cars out of the garage, called 911 and within an hour their house was gone. It had recently snowed and was 19 degrees out so it didn't spread to the forest. There were 15 fire trucks, but they couldn't access the water in the family’s fire water tank because it was frozen, so they had to cart water back and forth from the fire stations...another reason why they couldn't get it under control. Gratefully, Laura and her husband Gregg, their kids Maddie and Jack, and their two dogs survived with no injuries, and their cars are unscathed, but they are literally starting from scratch. Their spirits are as positive as can be; as Laura said, “Things can be replaced....the toughest thing for me personally is that all my art since high school and all of my brilliant daughter's art went up in flames. Tough.”
Their daughter Maddie is 11 and Jack is almost 7. If dollar donations aren’t your thing, Maddie is a size kids large or 12 Jack is size small or 7. Maddie is a kids shoe size women's 7 (!) and Jack size 2 kids. Laura is a size 8 and generally medium, size 8 shoes. Gregg is an XL in shirts and size 36 waist, size 12 shoes. Their dogs will eat whatever is given to them, as all good dogs will. Prescriptions are being managed. The only other key thing at this point is that Maddie needs new art supplies. They are staying in a hotel, hoping to be in temporary residence in a week or so, so there is not a good shipping address at the moment - once there is somewhere to ship bigger packages, that info will be updated here.
I have seen the amazing giving spirit and outpouring of communal support from my friends before, and hope to see it in full effect here again to support a friend in need. Westlake girls, lets take care of one of our sisters. Folks I’ve supported before, please allow me to call in a favor. The goal posted is a small guesstimate; how can you quantify what a family needs, when they need everything? I’m working with Laura to confirm ages, clothing sizes, any dietary or prescription needs the family may have, etc. so stay tuned for updates to this page. And THANK YOU for your support and generosity.
- Irene Asp
- Maryann Miller
- Ginger Dagnall
Organizer and beneficiary
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